The inability of indigenous shippers to access Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) has lead to little or no traffic record on the nation’s coastal shipping which translates to little or poor revenue for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Currently, traffic Nigerian coastal trading is at the lowest ebb due to poor development activities by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), who according to the Act establishing it is in charge of developing and driving local content in the sub sector.
Business Hilights investigations revealed that NPA has been making poor returns from the Coastal Charges because the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the last 11 years the CVFF was set up, has not done much as local shippers are yet to receive any fund from the facility, thus leading to the gradual collapse of coastal shipping.
Some shipping stakeholders had called on NIMASA to either empower local shippers with the CVFF or throw open the Nigerian coastal trading to foreign shippers to drive the business.
It would be recalled that development of the indigenous shippers remained the principal target of the NIMASA Act but not much had been achieved by the agency since inception till date even as it has continued to be enmeshed in looting controversy especially former Directors general.
Some of them are still in court even as at today. It was not clear if the CVFF formed part of the looted fund at NIMASA.
Coastal charges remain one of the key statutorily revenue sources for the NPA as entrenched in Act establishing the agency.
As defined in the prevailing Act, “Coastal Charges are applicable to vessels engaged in trade within Nigerian Territorial Waters exclusive of Service Boats. Goods previously landed in any Sea Port in Nigeria and subsequently re-exported to another Nigerian Port will rank as coastal traffic and attract coastal charges”.
A list of the major charges collected by NPA include Cargo Dues, Value Added Tax, Berth Rent/Mooring Dues, Contingency Deposit, Ship Dues, Royalty Charges, Coastal Charges, Tropical West Africa [TWA] Charges, Foreign Charges, Day, Documents to be furnished by Shipping Companies, Time to Submit Document, Tonnage & Anchorage Charge.
Analysts say why the agency has not been making the required
Business Hilights recalls that following the concessioning of the ports; the Cargo Dues component of both the Provisional and Final Bills has been split into three including Stevedoring, Harbours Dues, Environmental Protection.
Details form the prevailing Part XII of the Port Act (Cap 361) show that under the new format, the Terminal Operations are expected to collect the Stevedoring component since they will handle the cargo; while NPA will collect Harbour Dues, Environmental Protection, Berth Rent and Ship Dues. The Stevedoring component shall apply at any Non-concession Area.